Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Visit From the Goon Squad

Prefer first person, second person, or third person? Like your narrators reliable or not? Enjoy your fiction more straightforward or postmodern? If your answer to these questions is "yes" then you will most certainly enjoy Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad.

I am still trying to decide whether this is a collection of short stories or a novel. I'm not sure it matters. The narrative is certainly connected, though often separated by 3 or 4 degrees. More loosely tied than, say, Colum McCann's Let The Great World Spin, but more intimately tied as well. This book is funny. "Laugh out loud" funny. This book is sad. "Cry out loud" sad. This book is bold and brilliant. "Read certain passages out loud to your spouse or significant other" bold and brilliant. This book features a chapter (short story?) written as power point presentation, and it may be the most personal and certainly most memorable part of the book.

I'd say this is for fans of David Foster Wallace, but it's really for fans of fiction. Most of you will love all of it, all of you will love some of it. It's one of the more engaging books I have read in some time and I will certainly be reading more of Jennifer Egan's work. I only wish the bookstores weren't closed at 1 a.m. so that I could begin doing so right away.

1 comment:

  1. I devoured Goon Squad in two days and also read passages out loud -- in my case to my sister. For example, the description of Ted's waning passion for his wife in "Good-bye, My Love." And when Stephanie discovers the bobby pin in "From A to B." What passages stood out for you?